Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo has pointed the finger at the EU for showing indifference to Malta’s requests to help during the migrant crisis.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Bartolo claimed that since 2005, around 21,850 migrants had come to Malta, pinning the blame on human traffickers.
He said that of those 21,850, around 5,120 had been repatriated. The bulk of those went to the USA and not the EU.
“We have seen more solidarity from the US than from the EU.”
Bartolo made a clear distinction between the PN and PL administrations – providing figures that showed that the number of arrivals had slightly dropped. However, Bartolo makes no mention as to the three years Malta held a controversial agreement with Italy that saw single-digit boat arrivals.
At no point in the post does the Foreign Affairs Minister refer to the 21,000 people as asylum seekers or refugees, their legal status.
Bartolo, who is calling for more EU Aid in war-torn Libya, once again reiterated that the EU is putting the burden of human traffickers on Malta.
Malta and Italy both recently declared their ports unsafe for migrant arrivals in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Libya’s UN-recognised government in Tripoli also declared its ports unsafe due to the ongoing civil war in the country.
Four boats carrying 250 people were denied entry in Maltese ports. Five dead people were later found on a boat in Maltese waters.
Malta has urged the EU to send a humanitarian mission to Libya, including €100 million worth of food and medical supplies, in order to improve the situation in the war-torn North African country and to alleviate the pressure of irregular migrants off Europe.
Do you agree with the Foreign Affairs Minister? Comment below